I don’t think I have ever talked about it much on here, but I enjoy writing song lyrics. Of my own accord, I have close to zero musical talent when it comes to instruments, but I love words and I love what happens to them with the right music. For over 15 years now I have collaborated on a number of songs with my good friend and singer-songwriter Justin Young. He is a phenomenal musician and singer…check him out here.
Is my song writing different than my fiction writing…I would say yes. In both instances I’m trying to tell a story, but the inspiration for each come from different sources. My novel writing ideas usually come from thoughts or plot ideas that I can’t get out of my head. It takes time to build upon the initial idea and make it into something coherent and believable.
Songs are different (at least for me). My inspiration for music usually comes from a feeling rather than a thought. For instance, this past week I watched the music video for ‘Back Then,’ by regular Youtube-er Julian Smith. I like his videos (very well done and usually very funny). This was his first music video for a more serious song and I loved it.
After listening to it, I couldn’t get the chorus or the tune out of my head. My wife happened to be out of town for an extended trip and I found myself missing her. From that, with the tune of ‘Back Then’ still in my mind and a feeling of hope in my heart, the words started flowing. And just like any good writer should do, I just put them down on the page.
The end result (see below) took a little more darker turn than I expected. The initial feeling of the song was hopeful, but as the words kept coming, the song turned more negative than I expected…but that’s what came. I felt the need to explore what would happen if wanting someone else did not end as we hoped, how would that feel. (and for the record, my wife and I are perfectly wonderful:-) I have sent the lyrics to Justin and will see if he has any musical inspiration for it, and if not, that’s okay. But hopefully someday in the future, someone will read the words to this or hear the song and it will have the same affect on them that ‘Back Then’ did on me.
And that’s what writing is all about…leaving a piece of ourselves to inspire others.
Copyright 2014 Chris Sorensen